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The present study explores how the construction and distribution of selfies might interact with features of newer media to affect women who share selfies on social media. In particular, this study focuses on how specific types of photo modification and the nature of favorable audience feedback received on one’s images might exert influence on women’s state self-objectification and body image concerns. A 3 × 2 between-subjects lab experiment was conducted to explore how the type of photo modification (appearance modifications, nonappearance modifications, or no modifications [control]) and nature of positive feedback (appearance comments vs. nonappearance comments) affect state self-objectification, state appearance satisfaction, pro-cosmetic surgery attitudes, and willingness to distribute selfies on social media in the future. Results indicate that modifying selfies leads to less appearance satisfaction and lower pro-cosmetic surgery attitudes. Receiving appearance comments on selfies heightens state self-objectification, regardless of the type of photo modification. In addition, the more women self-objectified, the more inclined they were to share similarly objectifying selfies on social media in the future. The findings of this work provide a more comprehensive understanding of how women are impacted by the images they share online.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Body Image. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Body Image, volume 37, in 2021.

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